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Armati, Leo Francis (1913–2002)

Leo Francis Armati, Australian journalist and editor, died on December 1st at the Shady Knoll Health Center in Seymour, CT. Born in Sydney, Australia on December 8, 1913 to Hilda Pollard Armati and Leo Vincent Armati, Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, he later joined his father's paper and was sent as a correspondent to London to cover the German bombing known as "The Blitz". His next assignment was as Senior Correspondent of the New York Bureau of The Sydney Morning Herald, which his father had established. Not long after this, he became a part-time correspondent for Lord Beaverbrook's London Evening Standard, and after the war, became their full-time National Correspondent. He continued to work for both papers for 40 years, using the difference in the time zones of the two countries to manage the demands of each.

By his own account, his most meaningful—if most difficult—assignment was his coverage for London of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His extraordinary work on the story, over three days and nights without sleep, was recognized by his editor with an award for outstanding commitment to the finest goals of journalism. Although he never returned to Australia, he maintained his citizenship and his ties there, especially with his father, who later established his own chain of local newspapers, and with his mother, who had driven ambulances during the Japanese siege of Singapore, leaving on the last ship taking British women and children to safety in South Africa.

At the time of his death, he had been a member of the Foreign Press Association for 58 years, the longest tenure of any member in the history of the Association. He is survived by his daughter, Pamela Brandon Solomon of Rockville, MD, and his sons, Mark of Southbury, CT and John of Manassas, VA. He also is survived by his first wife Lucille Kearl Armati of Reston, VA, his second wife Daphne Denison Armati of City Island, NY and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son Scott Armati. Memorial Services will be held Saturday, December 7th, at 3:00 PM at the Southbury, CT Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 235 Main Street North. Calling hours will be held Saturday from 1:00 PM until the time of the service.

Original publication

Citation details

'Armati, Leo Francis (1913–2002)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/armati-leo-francis-13588/text24320, accessed 1 December 2021.

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